DOE Announces $18 Million In Grants To Enhance Its Weatherization Program

January 11, 2022

by Peter Maloney
APPA News
January 11, 2022

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced an $18 million funding opportunity made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help enhance the impact of the DOE’s existing residential Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

The Enhancement and Innovation Funding Opportunity Announcement will provide $18.6 million this year and up to $25 million each subsequent year through 2025. Each award will provide a maximum of $2 million over a three-year performance period.

Two-thirds of low-income households have high energy burdens and spend more than 6 percent of their income on utility bills and Black households spend 43 percent more of their income on energy costs, Hispanic households spend 20 percent more, and Native American households spend 45 percent more, the DOE said.

The DOE says the selected projects will focus on:

  • Making homes weatherization and electrification-ready: Projects must assist in reducing barriers to equitable delivery of WAP services, by performing necessary updates and panel replacements to incentivize fuel switching, and to enable the safe installation of clean energy technologies such as heat pumps and solar PVs. Applicants must describe measures that will make homes electrification ready and how proposed electrification measures will support the goal of reducing energy burden for low-income households;
  • Increasing WAP eligibility for multifamily, single family, and manufactured homes: The projects may develop new methods and partnerships to shorten the timeframe for moving buildings and homeowners through the retrofit process, for bringing previously unserved homes off deferral/waitlists and into the weatherization pipeline by addressing high-cost repairs and health and safety hazards, and protocols for identifying and preparing homes to become all-electric or electrification-ready;
  • Expanding America’s weatherization workforce: In support of the Biden Administration’s priority to increase workforce diversity, applicants may propose workforce development initiatives and activities including outreach and recruitment, job readiness programs, innovative approaches to mentoring, counseling, and coaching, stipends and wages for trainees. Project initiatives may also include developing formal partnerships with workforce development organizations, labor organizations and unions, trade schools, technical colleges, as well as local agencies and community-based organizations dedicated to reducing barriers to employment of underrepresented populations.

DOE’s WAP program will also receive $3.5 billion in additional funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to increase the energy efficiency, health, and safety of low-income households and to reduce their energy costs.

Additional details are available here.

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